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Personalised brain grafts

A team from University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA, has successfully reduced symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in monkeys by implanting cells in the brain.

The researchers took some of the monkey’s own skin cells and tweaked to become cells that produce dopamine, a substance in the brain which is lost in Parkinson’s disease.

The cells were placed in the brains of the monkeys, and after six months the animals showed a dramatic reduction in symptoms of the disease due to an increase in dopamine production.

“This result in primates is extremely powerful, particularly for translating our discoveries to the clinic,” said lead researcher Professor Su-Chun Zhang (pictured).

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